Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama's Economic Advisors - Oh Vey!

Michael Fiorillo is one of the most respected voices in ICE. When he speaks (or writes) people always know something interesting is coming.

There was an interesting - and disquieting - article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about Obama's economic team, having come across it on the "LBO Talk" section of Doug Henwood's Left Business Observer ( When you get to the section, type in "financial crisis" and you should find it.

The article describes Obama's reliance on the terrible threesome of Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers for his economic advice. Should these be the people he listens to, we can likely expect a harsh regime of structural readjustment, the punishing economic shock therapy that has been applied in recent decades in other nations undergoing credit crises, which includes large-scale privatization of public assets - highways, bridges, schools, water systems, etc. - and the decimation of the civil service. The NYT has already reported that NY governor David Patterson is already explorinjg the sale of state assets. We have also seen a hint of this with the news that Obama lobbied the Congressional Black caucus to approve the $700 B bankster bailout, without insisting on a nickel for distressed homeowners or changes allowing judges to
modify bankruptcy workouts for individuals.

Obama's official economic advisor is from the U of Chi Economics department, which ranges from center-right to Milton Friedmanite derangement. Also not encouraging. The advisor, Austin Goolsbee, is not among the most rabid from that department, but let's just say that you don't get tenure there by being insensitive to the feelings and interests of bankers.

The article should help people to cut through much of Obama's attractive persona and rhetoric, and reveals who will really be calling the shots. While the above-mentioned may suggest that my continuing intention to vote for Obama is irrational, given what I've stated, I'd say that it points out that we have go into the coming period without any illusions, and with the understanding that only a broad popular mobilization for economic democracy gives any hope whatsoever that the republic can be reclaimed and saved.

Michael Fiorillo


  1. Do we have the option to vote for Ralph Nader?

  2. Yes, or fill in another name..
    by all means


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